August 05, 2021

Alcoa renames office in Pinjarra - Bindjareb Office

Alcoa Bindjareb Office Renaming_Smoking Ceremony_TheoKearing_MichaelGollschewski
Local Bindjareb man Theo Kearing and Michael Gollschewski, President Alcoa Australia during the Smoking Ceremony at Alcoa’s Bindjareb Office renaming event.

Alcoa Australia has renamed its Peel Regional Office, Bindjareb Office, as a way to recognise the Bindjareb community as Traditional Owners of the land on which the office is located and to reflect on their experiences through truth telling.

The renaming follows consultation with local Traditional Owner families, representatives of which attended a special event on Tuesday, August 3 to mark the milestone. They delivered a Welcome to Country and Smoking Ceremony and shared histories. The event was catered by Bindjareb Park, a local catering company.

President Alcoa Australia, Michael Gollschewski, said he was humbled to hear the historical accounts that were shared during the event.

“I first learned about the untold history of the Bindjareb people many years ago, and I was deeply moved to hear these stories retold by direct descendants of survivors of the Pinjarra Massacre,” Mr Gollschewski said.

“We cannot change the past, but it is important the truth telling continues so we can understand and learn from past wrongs and be better together in the future.

“Renaming this office is one small step on our journey toward reconciliation and we thank the Bindjareb people for allowing us to do so.”

Prior to performing the Smoking Ceremony, local Bindjareb man, Theo Kearing, explained the significance of the traditional ceremony.

“The meaning of a Smoking Ceremony is to cleanse and bring good energy. We wish good energy for Alcoa and all of you here. We hope this ceremony brings Alcoa an amazing journey with this building and you all have a safe journey home afterward. Thank you for having us out here and thank you for calling this office, Bindjareb,” Mr Kearing said.

The renaming to Bindjareb Office forms part of Alcoa’s commitment to build greater respect for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through increased understanding and recognition of their cultures, histories, knowledge and rights. This is a key commitment of the company’s Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan, which was published in February 2020.